Monday, August 19, 2013

August School Pest News issue from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is now available!

The August School Pest News volume from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is now available!

This issue features articles about the importance of IPM, IPM tips for teachers and staff, and how schools can prepare for potential head lice infestations as the new school year approaches.

School Pest News, Volume 12, Issue 5, 
August 2013  
 “To provide the best professional integrated pest management training and advice for school districts and other environmentally sensitive institutions in Texas and the Southwest.”
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service School IPM Program

In This Issue  
Why is IPM so Important?

Tips for teachers and staff to help with IPM  

Be Prepared for back to school and avoid head lice this year
Why is IPM so Important
Most of us in our everyday lives don’t give pest control a second thought. We only react after we see a roach or a mouse run through our house. Yet in our professional surroundings, some of us are asked to follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) either by law or voluntarily.
IPM is a strategy that provides quality pest control using the least hazardous chemicals and techniques.  IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycle of pests and their interactions with the environment.  This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment.
Schools and childcare facilities face risks from to pests as well as the pesticides used to control these pests.  Pesticides can help control pests but must be used carefully.  It’s important for all of us to remember that children may be more sensitive to pesticides than adults.  Young children, especially, may have different exposures than adults - - they can encounter pesticides by crawling, exploring, or hand-to- mouth activities.
Read more by following this link 

Tips for teachers and staff to help with IPM 
Clutter and pests go hand-in-hand:  In most schools today clutter is a natural phenomenon that just “happens.” However, many pests (cockroaches, spiders & mice) thrive in areas that accumulate a lot clutter. Clutter control is essential in classrooms to reduce potential habitats for pests.
  • Keep materials organized in plastic storage boxes with lids.
  • Eliminate cardboard wherever possible.
  • Store items several inches away from walls so that storage areas can be easily inspected for pests.
Facing the food battle in the classroom:  These days keeping food out the classroom is not as easy as before. There are those rooms that students spend their entire day in the room, even lunches. That said, teachers and students can help keep pest populations from going “out of control.”
  • Store food in pest-proof plastic containers.
  • Keep items like beans, corn, and macaroni in plastic containers and pick up spilled items after each use.
  • If food or drinks are spilled in the room, clean it up immediately.
  • Encourage students not to keep food, drinks or candy in their desk or lockers. Have a cleaning party before long school breaks.
Want more tips go here

Be prepared for back to school and avoid head lice  
A new head louse season begins each year with the opening of school.  According to the National Pediculosis Association, millions of children in the U.S. will be infected with head lice this year.  Many of these head louse infections will be contracted in school settings.
            Many school employees are baffled as to the reason and cures for head lice.  The purpose of this article is to clarify some important facts about head lice and offer some practical management suggestions for school pest management coordinators.
            Head lice are tiny insects that live only on the scalps of humans.  Head lice feed on blood, cause itching and are a source of embarrassment to the child (and parents). 
            Much misinformation about head lice abounds.  Infestation is not necessarily a sign of poor hygiene.  Head lice occur on all people regardless of socioeconomic class.  Head lice do not jump.  They are spread primarily by crawling from one person to another, often via secondary transfer on hats, combs, headbands, jackets, etc.  It is possible, though less likely, that head lice can be transferred by sharing upholstered chairs, bean bags, or carpeting.
            Head lice can be very difficult to eliminate from children’s hair.  Parents often assume, or are told by physicians, that the difficulty in eliminating infestations is that their child is becoming re-infested at school.  While this can happen, it is probably more often the result of improper or inadequate treatment at home.   Read the rest of the story
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Educational programs of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.  the Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the county Commissioners courts of Texas Cooperating.   

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